The best parts of General Hux’s story aren’t in the movies


While the majority of fans know General Hux from the movies, the best parts of his story are in the Star Wars books and comics.

General Armitage Hux is one of the leading characters of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, acting as the face of the First Order’s mighty military machine who leads the stormtrooper program, along with the creation and implementation of Starkiller Base.

The problem is that Hux is more complex and cunning than the portrayal fans see in the movies. The novels and comics flesh him out to be a much more intriguing than just a pure First Order loyalist or as a rival and occasional punching bag for Kylo Ren.

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Hux’s backstory from the novels and comics

The Aftermath novels show how his father Brendol Hux — a prominent officer in the Empire and later in the First Order — considered his bastard son Armitage to be weak and frail. Others leaders like Gallius Rax and Rae Slone felt differently, making Armitage believe he was destined to do great things.

Even after they fled into the Unknown Regions, Brendol continued to abuse and loathe his son. The Phasma novel reveals how Armitage conspired with Phasma to assassinate Brendol, which allowed him to take his father’s place as the leader of the First Order’s military.

Armitage Hux’s story only grew more fascinating with his recent issue in the Age of Resistance comics. The story showed Hux and Kylo Ren crash-landing on a planet. While Kylo Ren was unconscious, Hux encountered a former Palace Guard from Alderaan, who was off-world when the Death Star destroyed the planet.

Hux managed to gain the man’s trust and use his communication array, through which Hux secretly contacted the First Order for aid. When Captain Phasma arrived to rescue them, Hux ordered that the former denizen of Alderaan be left alive so the planet he was on could be used as target practice for Starkiller Base.

Photo credit: Disney Channel/LucasfilmImage acquired from Disney ABC Press /

His clever manipulation didn’t end there, though. Admiral Brooks — a friend of Brendol Hux’s who took pleasure in watching the abuse of Armitage when he was younger — was framed for the crash-landing of the shuttle. Before killing Admiral Brooks, General Hux revealed that he killed his father, now getting revenge on two of the men who once tormented him. Hux’s true motivations and the way he sees himself are captured in his final words to Admiral Brooks in his Age of Resistance comic:

"“You. My father. Snoke. Ren. You all underestimate me. You see me as something you can control. Something weak. I am not weak. I am patient. You all have the power to destroy people. But I will outlive you all. I will hold more power than any of you. Destroying people is nothing. I will have the power to destroy worlds.”"

Why this matters

This kind of backstory matters because it gets to the essence of what makes Hux’s character truly tick. He’s ruthless, cunning, and remarkably patient. He doesn’t live to serve the First Order or his superiors. He lives to become more powerful than his superiors, proving to the very people who abused him that he is more powerful than they will ever be.

Many of Hux’s scenes from the movies take on new meaning and add further depth to his character with this in mind. His fiery speech and the emotional look on his face as he watches Starkiller Base fire on the Hosnian System aren’t over the top. They show that Hux views the success of Starkiller Base as proof that Brendol was wrong about his son, also validating the greatness that Gallius Rax and Rae Sloane once saw in young Armitage.

In The Last Jedi, the way he’s Force-choked and tossed around like a rag doll by Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren isn’t funny; it’s more abuse that adds fuel to the fire of Hux’s hatred and his plan to outlive and become more powerful than them.

Particularly before it was known that Palpatine would be playing a role in The Rise of Skywalker, a popular theory was that Hux would become the surprise major antagonist of the film as he performed a coup to dethrone Kylo Ren and take complete control of the First Order. Given the character traits, motivations, and overall backstory from the novels and comics, this would be a fitting payoff for his character’s journey. From the perspective of what audiences have only seen in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, though, it would feel like too much of a leap, and not one that is fully earned.

The mysterious return of Palpatine and the inclusion of the new character Allegiant General Pryde played by Richard E. Grant makes this theory even more unlikely. With so many things going in The Rise of Skywalker, Hux may be even more overshadowed than he was in the previous films. It’s a shame as Hux had the potential to be one of the most compelling characters in this trilogy.

The dissonance between Hux’s portrayal in the movies vs. the novels and comics highlights a larger question in Star Wars canon: How can the movies do the characters justice when so much of their development and essence is ignored, yet still make the story feel accessible to all audiences?

Next. Characters treated better in TFA or TLJ. dark

There is no easy answer and there likely never will be. For many characters this is not an issue, but for Hux, it cheapens his entire character arc.